I have a 3 year old, his father and I have decided to separate. We have been living together for the past 5 years, never married. I have been home for the past 3 years taking care of our child. I am a part time student only, at palm beach state college. I would like to know how a child custody will be in my case. He has asked me to move out of the home we currently live, but i have to take my son with me. I can go stay with my parents until i find a job and can afford an apartment. I dont want my living situation to affect the custody of my son. What can I do? For my son's stability i dont want him staying a week with him and then a week with me. I want it to be stable week days with me and for his father to have weekends and share holidays. He says he will not allow that and he will do whatever it takes to have our son one week and another week with me. I am the primary caregiver, since i spend with him 24/7. I take him to all of his dr's appointments and his speech therapy. He is mostly out of the house.
Hope it explains my situation ,
Because you have not been married and I assume, the father has not established paternity, technically you are the natural custodian of the child and he has no rights until he establishes his paternity. That being said, you should either hire an attorney to file a petition for paternity, a parenting plan and timesharing, because if you do not and he wants to assert his rights, he will do it. Under your facts, you will be ordered to mediation, where you can work out an agreement on your case either on all or part of the issues. As far as the timesharing, it will be up to you and he to come out with the arrangement with the help of the mediator or if you do not agree in mediation, the court will order a parenting plan and timesharing agreement. He may have to pay child support, provide health insurance for the child and be responsible for out of pocket medical items. I urge you to make an appointment with a family lawyer in your county, many offer free consultation, to get a better idea as to the specifics of your case. Good luck.
As of this moment you have all rights to you child and the father has none. However, the father can obtain those rights by filing a Petition to Establish Paternity and Related Relief. You can seek out the assistance of the Florida Department of Revenue (DOR) to obtain child support from the Father but the DOR cannot represent you with regard to the parenting plan or time sharing plan aspects of the case. Time sharing is based upon the best interest of the child and generally the courts are granting 50/50 time sharing arrangements where both parties have the ability to provide such care and are fit to do so. However, that does not necessarily mean a week on week off schedule as there are many other ways in which a 50/50 schedule can be arranged. To get a better idea of the likely outcome of you case if the father does file a Petition for Paternity seek schedule a one to one consultation with the attorney of your choice.
Daniel Bachert, Esq.
Family Law Attorney/Mediator and QDRO Specialist
Please be aware and advised that this public forum is designed to provide only general information, to give you a basis of legal knowledge. This public forum does not give you attorney-client privilege. You and I have not entered into an attorney-client relationship. I am not responsible for your legal rights and this answer is based solely on the information you have provided in your question and as always, I would advise that you arrange for an in person consultation with an attorney from my firm or another Family Law attorney familiar with Florida Family Law who can analyze the specific facts and circumstances of your case more closely to better advise you.
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